Durham School Services employees raised $10,780 for Special Olympics Illinois during the Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge in Lake Bluff, Ill. © 2012 Randy Frost Photography
LAKE BLUFF, Ill. — Durham School Services took honors as the top fundraising team at the Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge at Sunrise Beach here earlier this month.
The school bus contractor’s team of 36 plungers — which included members of the corporate office, field managers, drivers and family members — raised $10,780 for Special Olympics Illinois. Durham also donated bus service to transport the plungers to and from Sunrise Beach.
More than 270 Lake Bluff plungers raised a total of $88,675 to benefit Special Olympics Illinois Far West Suburban/Area 2, which serves athletes with intellectual disabilities in DuPage, Kane and Kendall counties. This is the fifth year Durham has participated in the Lake Bluff Plunge, which was one of 20 held around Illinois in March.
“Durham School Services began transporting special-needs students in 1917,” said David Duke, CEO of National Express Corp., which is the parent company of Durham in the U.S. and Stock Transportation in Canada. “Our commitment to the safety and well-being of children extends beyond the school bus ride and into each and every community we serve. We have partnered with Special Olympics for the past 15 years, supporting local events across the country because we truly believe in their mission. We are honored to be affiliated with such an extraordinary organization."
Duke went on to say that serving the communities in which the company operates is a primary value at Durham, and he said he was proud of the way the company’s employees demonstrate those values “in the most commendable ways.”
Durham’s participation in the Polar Plunge was organized by Kim Frost, general manager of Durham’s Lake Villa location.
“Everybody loved being a part of the plunge and wants to do it again next year,” Frost said. “After being involved and knowing how this helps Special Olympics Illinois and what this money can do for them, it’s easy to see why we do this.”
Dave Breen, president and CEO of Special Olympics Illinois, added that the enthusiasm and loyal support of the Durham team has been gratifying for the Special Olympics staff, athletes and volunteers.
“They not only raise funds to support our program, but the buses and friendly drivers that shuttle plungers to and from the beach add to the festive atmosphere of plunge day, which encourages people to return year after year,” Breen said.